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Ethical issues in engineering design: safety and sustainability


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The goal of this research was to obtain insight in how engineers deal with ethical issues in daily engineering design practice. It was reasonable to assume that ethical issues and the way engineers deal with them depend on characteristics of the design process. Vincenti�s dimensions were used to characterize different design processes: design type...

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Ethical aspects of upscaling an innovative water treatment technology


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…or: The risk involved in the transition from lab-scale model to full-size open plant in bioprocess technology A critical step in developing new or improved biotechnological plants is the transition from lab-scal model to full-size plant. The inherent uncertainties and incompleteness of knowledge in this discipline may lead to unexpected results, implying risks and...

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Technology and Human Development. A Capability Approach


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Applying the capability approach of Nussbaum and Sen to technology, engineering and design Some influential theories of distributive justice, fairness and equality, like that of John Rawls, discuss fair distribution in terms of shares of primary goods available to people. The main criticism of philosopher and Nobel laureate in economics Amartya Sen of these...

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A Sustainable Ethics for Future Energy Systems


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Sustainable energy systems are undoubtedly a positive technological development from a moral point of view. Many of these systems, however, are themselves not free from ethical controversies. Some controversies emerge from the conceptual confusion accompanying the notion of sustainability, and some appear when sustainability is confronted with other environmental, economic, and socio-political values. This...

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Persuasive technology and social values


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Social values can be in conflict with the interests or preferences of individual people. Sustainability, for example, is widely viewed as crucial for our future. At the same time it is recognized that technology alone cannot bring about a sustainable society. Individual agents need to change their behavior as well. How do we motivate...

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Biofuels: sustainable innovation or gold rush?


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Biofuels are controversial. Policy makers and other stakeholders are struggling to find answers to how, and under which conditions sustainability could be realized  and how to encourage sustainable practices through guidelines and norms (e.g., derived from the Cramer Criteria). This project aims to address these strategic questions by investigating conceptual, ethical and political aspects of...

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